May. 31st, 2008

liv: ribbon diagram of a p53 monomer (p53)
Thank you all for being my collective conscience! I think it was the right decision to go, and the various arguments gave me lots of food for thought. That said, Watson's talk was even more pointless than I had suspected it would be.

since everybody got involved with such gusto, you probably want to know how it went )

I cut him slack for being vague and rambly on the grounds that he's eighty. But I don't cut him slack for his sexism for that reason; he's just not old enough to remember a world where it was reasonable to assume that women are naturally incompetent and all the serious work is done by men. Female scientists were still the minority back in the 50s, but hardly unheard of; he himself mentioned that Franklin was one of a couple of dozen women in the chemistry department at King's College London. Even if has been completely unable to adapt to the changes in society in the past fifty years, there's no excuse to make comments about how you should make sure to spend time in conversation with other scientists and not waste too much energy gossiping about politics with your wife. I don't think he even intended that remark to be offensive, unlike some of his comments about "the feminists" who were so meeeeeeeeeeean to him and made a totem of Franklin just because she was a girl even though she wasn't particularly competent (sic). He just unthinkingly assumed that all scientists are men, and women only talk about trivial things. I think for someone to be too old to understand that women are people, he would have to be at least 150, which is to say, there's no excuse any more.

Anyway, the evening was much improved by an invitation to dinner with EBH, which was as usual delightful and full of interesting, intelligent conversation. Just what a Friday night should be, in fact.
liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (Default)
I have managed to write up a couple of the books I was reading while travelling:

Steven Brust: Phoenix
Pamela Dean: Tam Lin


The only other thing I've managed to do today is establish that there is no affordable way I can manage my intended trip to north America this summer. I've been poking around every internet site I can find, and I can't get the price down under £900. I'm almost tempted to do it anyway, since I've set my heart on it, and I really, really, really want to see [livejournal.com profile] rysmiel and [livejournal.com profile] darcydodo and [livejournal.com profile] compilerbitch. But it's not sensible; I have to compare how much holiday in Europe I could get for that kind of money, or how many trips to England. And [livejournal.com profile] compilerbitch is going to Mars so I wouldn't see much of her, and [livejournal.com profile] darcydodo is coming to England in August so I'll see her at least briefly then.

The reasonable thing to do is to come to America sometime when I have more flexibility, so it's not the middle of peak season. And spend this summer's vacation exploring somewhere I haven't been before, such as the remote parts of Sweden, or the interesting bits of Europe. But I am sick as a dog about missing my people. Stupid evil horrid geography.

Soundbite

Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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